The Fenway Institute Denounces President’s Attempts to Prohibit Transgender People from Serving in the Military

The Fenway Institute today denounced a series of tweets by President Trump seeking to ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military.

“Thousands of transgender people are either currently serving or have served our country bravely and honorably,” said Sean Cahill, PhD, Director of Health Policy Research at The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health. “It is unfortunate that President Trump is tweeting in a way that will reinforce prejudice and discrimination which affects the health and well-being not just of the patriotic transgender Americans who are serving our country, but all transgender people.”

When strung together, the tweets read: “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”

The RAND Corporation, a non-profit research institution, worked with the Obama-era Department of Defense to analyze the potential effects of the policy that currently permits transgender individuals to serve openly in the military. Their research found that of the 1.3 million active service members, an estimated 1,320-6,630 members are transgender, and only a smaller subset of these members would seek gender transition-related medical treatment. The analysis found that transition-related health care expenditures would represent an “exceedingly small proportion” of total health expenditures, and that there would be little to no impact on unit cohesion, operational effectiveness, or readiness. As such, the report concluded that the policy to allow transgender people to…

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